Gardening Grandma

Latest posts by Gardening Grandma

Safe species for a tall hedge in high density housing estate?

Posted: 09/02/2013 at 18:08

Since I'm a fan of clematis and other climbing plants, and since there isn't much room for roots, I like the suggestion of pyracantha with clematis through it, obelixx. I find pyracantha quite slow-growing, though. It would take time to come to something. Clematis Montana is great, but is obviouslt tall and thinnish, so trained across a strong fence or trellis would not clothe the bottom much. I'd favour a mixed climber 'hedge' with different plants providing interest througout the year - various early and later clematis, jasmine and perhaps trachelospermum for scent, a rose and the pyracantha for winter interest and structure throughout the year. No huge roots involved, something for neighbours to admire and enjoy as they pass and beauty and perfume in the garden. Small-space gardening requires viertical gardening, as Lavender Lady's glorious photographs show.

B******* Magpies

Posted: 09/02/2013 at 17:53

Again, many thanks for this good advice. We have created a thicket for shelter and even put up a couple of nesting boxes, which get ignored.I was surprised to discover on this forum that magpies are officially regarded as pests and can be shot at any time of the year. They are beautiful but, I suppose, too successful in adapting to the modern world and there are too many of them. Cuckoos, also destructive of smaller species, are apparently in severe decline, but those **** magpies just keep going.


Posted: 09/02/2013 at 17:32

Alan, thanks for the reminder. We don't have much in the way of local auctions, but quite often go on holiday to Wareham in Dorset where there is a good auction house. Next time, I'l be on the lookout.

Continuation of slugs

Posted: 09/02/2013 at 08:30

I'm with lilylouise - scissors.

what to plant NOW !

Posted: 09/02/2013 at 08:21

It is so uplifting to get outside in the fresh air and do some physical work. I've spent time tidying up the beds (from the path, as far as possible, with the odd step onto the deeper areas), pruning hydrangeas, taking off dead bits from last year's perennials.(despite losing the protection from frost that these bits can give the plants)  turning the top of the flower beds a bit so they look fresh, tying up things that should have been tied up at the end of last season and weren't and just assessing the condition of things and making plans for this year. I planted some pots of bulbs and the above-mentioned cheap acquisitions from the garden centre. Just a few hours, but what a difference in my mental state! I do live in mild South Wales and was actually too hot on Saturday afternoon, gardening in the sun. Also, I got the first stint of gardening over with, the one that leaves me with stiff, aching muscles, so I'm ready for whatever the rest of the year brings in the garden. Lovely!

Flower in the garden...

Posted: 09/02/2013 at 08:06

My choice wold be large, rambling, scrambling roses but they are twice as beautiful with something likeclematis Jackmanii Superba growing through them and that's two...

Plants between concrete path and wall

Posted: 08/02/2013 at 22:14

Welcome 19edna. Hope you enjoy your time on the forum. I find it interesting and informative.

Emilym, The most important considerations are the amount of sunlight and the kind of soil. If there isn't much sun and the soil is very dry and crumbly, then you will have a limited choice of plants. If the soil is like this, or is heavy clay, you can improve it with compost, manure and if necessary added topsoil, but you probably can't change the amount of light. In these circumstances, a raised bed makes sense if it will provide better soil, added by you, and lift the plants up so they get more sunlight. If you choose the wrong plants, they will not thrive. I hope you have a wonderful time planning and completing your border.

Talkback: Planting to cut winter fuel bills

Posted: 08/02/2013 at 19:02

Well, it is nice that people are concerned for my welfare. I am beginning to feel that I have hijacked this thread, though. I do have a condenser tumble dryer, but can't stand the noise of it working and tend to dry things on the radiators in the two living rooms. Honestly, the problem is not that bad, though it is a nusance. I looked up problems with cwi on the Which website and found the following.

"Cavity wall insulation causing damp is very rare, but it's worth checking whether your home's at risk. You can use the checklist below to assess your home's damp risk. Ask any potential installer about these factors, too.

Damp could occur in properties as a result of cavity wall insulation if there is a combination of these factors:

  • your home is exposed to severe levels of wind-driven rain (zones three or four in our mapt)
  • your home is located in an unsheltered position, eg not protected by trees or other buildings
  • the external walls are poorly built or maintained with, for example, cracks in the brickwork or rendering.

Published guidance by the Building Research Establishment says that in these cases there is 'an increased risk of rain penetration if a cavity is fully filled with insulation'. Rain could penetrate the outer wall, bridge the cavity via the insulation material and transfer moisture to internal walls, causing damp." 

Our area of Wales is in Zone 4, which has 'very severe problems' with wind-driven rain.

Anyway, back to the issue of insulating our homes with plants! (Actually, I made a typo the first time I wrote this and suggested that we discuss insulating our homes with pants.)


what to plant NOW !

Posted: 08/02/2013 at 16:08

You could plant bulbs already growing in pots and bought in the garden centre, such as daffodils and crocuses, as long as they have been kept outside. I find it quite a handy way to stock my garden, because they are often pretty cheap (ten good pots of tete-a-tete daffodils for a tenner recently) and I can see where to position them among the other plants. Also, reduced packs of spring bulbs (50p each locally) can go in. If they don't come this year, they are likely to do so next year, as long as they haven't dried out to dust.

Petunias growing faster than expected

Posted: 08/02/2013 at 15:59

Sorry, should have made that plain. Just let them grow, as sotongeoff says. You pinch them out when they have been potted on and are several inches high. You could have a look in garden centres at the shape of their larger petunia plants, later on in the season, and compare yours to see if they need pinching out. 

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